.. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, Saith the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6 KJV)
Ebb and flow is an English idiom used to describe something that changes, as the tides on the shore constantly increase and decrease. In this devotional, I will use this idiom to explain a spiritual truth of utmost practical importance: how the operations of the Spirit can potentially fluctuate in our lives.
The Person of the Spirit in us does not ebb and flow. When you received Jesus at salvation, God entered your heart in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. You received all of the Spirit. He does not leave us when we sin and then come back after we repent. So in this dimension, He does not increase and decrease in you—He does not ebb and flow. He is permanently there.
However, His operations and expressions in our lives ebb and flow. If the first dimension of infilling were enough, we would immediately look like God in our character and personality. But this is not the case. The Spirit in us does not operate as sovereign Holy Spirit but works in and as our human spirit. He expresses Himself through the human spirit. What we call the “anointing” is nothing other than the Holy Spirit expressing divine abilities in the human spirit. And when He operates in our spirit, the Bible typically calls the results “the spirit of —.” For instance, the power of the Spirit through us is the spirit of power because it is Spirit’s power operating through our spirit. The same is true of the spirit of wisdom. Although the Person of the Spirit does not ebb and flow in us, His operations in us can increase and decrease depending on certain factors.
The ebb and flow of the Spirit explain why your devotional life is crucial. Why do those who consistently pray see more of God’s power in demonstration than those who do not? Why do you have to constantly feed on the Word of God to maintain your spiritual sanity, joy, peace, etc.? In our current state of living, the Spirit’s operations ebb and flow in this flesh. If you always want to be full, you must constantly refill your car at the gas tank in God’s presence.
A life of constant prayer and feeding on the Word—the devotional life—is foundational to your spiritual wellbeing and victory. Your devotional life is your key to combating the ebb and flow of the Spirit. God does not want you to ebb and flow spiritually. He wants you to be always full and increasing. However, the choice is ours. Some Christians go up and down every day, while others seem to be always full. If you check out the lives of those who are always full, you will find a common factor: a solid devotional life. There are no shortcuts to practical spiritual fullness. There are no drive-throughs for rapid heavenly service. Do not let the madness of our modern life “drain the Spirit out of you”( quench His operations). Like Mary, constantly sit at the Master’s feet ( Luke 10:39).
In what way do the Spirit ebb and flow in us?
Apply the Word
Has life quenched the fire of the Spirit in your life? It’s time to rekindle that flame. Do not allow the ebb and flow work to work against you. Re-ignite your devotional life.
Ask the Spirit to help you be full of Him at all times.